Lafayette, LA – Mayor Joey Durel today announced Lafayette has been selected as a finalist for the Bloomberg Philanthropies' Mayors Challenge, a competition created to inspire American cities to generate innovative ideas that solve major challenges and improve city life – and that ultimately can be shared with other cities across the nation.
Lafayette was selected based on its innovative idea to develop community-wide games to spur community improvement. Lafayette's idea is to develop a "Community Enrichment Games" platform named Level Up, Lafayette. Lafayette residents will create and play a range of games to benefit the community by tackling issues such as health and wellness, civic engagement, and cultural participation. Level Up, Lafayette players will unlock achievements and earn rewards that benefit the entire community—such as public improvement projects. Level Up, Lafayette will achieve "epic wins" for Lafayette through increased citizen engagement and teamwork to improve outcomes for all. Lafayette will now compete against 19 other cities across the country for the $5 million grand prize as well as one of four additional prizes of $1 million each.
"We are thrilled that Lafayette is a finalist in the Mayors Challenge. Lafayette has a long history of innovation that has defined our community's success. This opportunity—a challenge that was specifically designed to encourage cities to be creative problem solvers—was a natural fit for Lafayette. Ideas Camp will provide our team a great opportunity to work with cities across the country facing similar challenges to seed Lafayette's next big innovation," said Mayor Joey Durel.
A team from Lafayette will attend Bloomberg Ideas Camp, a two-day gathering in New York City in November during which city teams will work collaboratively with each other and experts to further refine their ideas. Coming out of Camp, the Lafayette team will have access to additional technical support to prepare their ideas for final submission. Winners will be announced in spring 2013, with a total of $9 million going to five cities to jumpstart implementation of their ideas.
"Congratulations to Mayor Durel and the City of Lafayette for becoming a Mayors Challenge finalist. The response to the Mayors Challenge was extraordinary: bold and innovative ideas were submitted from every corner of the country. We look forward to welcoming the Lafayette team to Ideas Camp," said James Anderson, who directs the Government Innovation program at Bloomberg Philanthropies.
The 20 finalist ideas were rated on four key criteria: vision/creativity, ability to implement, potential for impact, and potential for replication. A specially-assembled selection committee, co-chaired by Shona Brown, Senior Vice President and head of Google.org, and Ron Daniel, Bloomberg Philanthropies board member and Former Managing Partner at McKinsey & Company where he is still active, helped select the finalist cities.
About the Mayors Challenge
Mayors of U.S. cities with 30,000 residents or more were eligible to compete in the Mayors Challenge. 305 cities representing 45 states across the country submitted applications by September 14, 2012.
The Mayors Challenge is the latest initiative of Bloomberg Philanthropies' Mayors Project, which aims to spread proven and promising ideas among cities. Other Mayors Project investments include Cities of Service, Innovation Delivery Teams, and Financial Empowerment Centers.
To learn more about the Mayors Challenge, visit bloomberg.org/mayorschallenge.
Lafayette Consolidated Government is the governing authority of both the parish and the city of Lafayette. The city of Lafayette has a population of approximately 120,000 and has been recognized nationally in recent years for its strong local economy, municipally-owned fiber network, and its vibrant culture. Joey Durel is the current City-Parish President (often referred to as "Mayor"), and he is currently serving his third and final term in office.